First Place, Second Place, Every Place

I got home to Detroit from Tennessee late last night and now I’m eating teriyaki turkey jerky (it’s just fun to say that) and listening to the rain outside. “Haaarveeeeeey!!” is what I’m thinking, although that storm is very far away.

I have about a day and a half left to get things in order and collect my thoughts before I’m out on the road again. Ben Belcher is coming up on Wednesday and we’ll have a day or so to catch up, rehearse and learn new material and then we’re off!

In this email I will share some

– recent highlights

– upcoming shows

– book club notes
and that’s all I have in mind. Feel free to write me back any time, I love to hear from you!
Upcoming Shows
We start with some Lewis/Belcher Corn Potato Duo shows, featuring classic banjo duets and other fun things we only do as a duo…
– This Friday at the G.A.R. Hall in Peninsula, OH, with Jen Maurer and Anthony Papaleo opening. (They are GR8)
– Saturday at 20 Front Street in Lake Orion, MI
– Sunday we play at my oldest friend’s wedding!
Binghamton House Concert Tuesday
Albany House Concert Wednesday
and then we meet up with Lindsay and play as the trio Corn Potato String Band at
– Naumkeag House & Gardens in Stockbridge, MA Thursday
and then we are at the
OLDTONE MUSIC FESTIVAL ALL WEEKEND in Hillsdale, NY — If you live anywhere in the Northeast I STRONGLY recommend you come to this festival. The lineup is just incredible, and I’m not just talking about how I’ll be playing with Corn Potato String Band AND Roochie Toochie & The Ragtime Shepherd Kings. Check it out. Make it happen. You will be so glad you did.
After Oldtone we say goodbye to Ben and continue on a two-week tour of Maine with Roochie Toochie:
– Sep 12 – College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, ME
– Sep 14 – Portland Intown Contra Dance (Weird, I know, right?)
– Sep 15 – Denmark Arts Center in Denmark, ME
– Sep 16 – Mayo St Arts in Portland, ME
– Sep 17 – Waterfall Arts in Belfast, ME
– Sep 18 – The Dented Can in Thorndike, ME
– Sep 21 – Eureka Hall in Stockholm, ME
– Sep 22 – 58 Main in Bangor, ME
– Sep 23 – PACC in Phillips, ME
– Sep 24 – Bagaduce Lending Library Performance Hall in Blue Hill, ME
and then Lindsay and I go to Vermont and rehearse for a few days for
– Vermont Vaudeville Sep 28-30
and then we go home and we’ll have a few days to catch our breath and then on October 8 we have our Square Dance at the Gaelic League in Detroit
I’ll just keep going here in case I don’t have a chance to send another email before October. We’re still booking shows so check our website for updates —
– Oct 12 Barns of Rose Hill in Berryville, VA
– Oct 13 Cedarwood House Concert in Dunkirk, MD
– Oct 14 WHP Workshop & Concert in Glen Arm, MD
– Oct 15 Susquehanna Folk Music Society in Harrisburg, PA
and then we will probably go to Philly for a few days until
– Oct 20 Baltimore Square Dance with Danny Knicely on guitar, Sam Guthridge on banjo (see Square Peg Rounders…), Marc Dykeman on bass, Yours Truly on fiddle, and Lindsay McCaw calling
– Oct 21 The Bullpen in Durham, NC
and then the future is somewhat unclear but we are heading to Black Pot Festival in Louisiana to play with Roochie Toochie, and then we’ll be making our way home from New Orleans right after Halloween.
Recent Highlights
– Putting on Dr. Gallinipper’s Possum Water Medicine Show every day for the past nine days, including but not limited to Lucy the Dancing Gorilla, Magnifico the Snake Charmer, Crankie Shows, Hazel Darnell (Lindsay’s ventriloquism routine), Trick Fiddling, Corny Joke-Telling, Possum Water Healing the Sick and Causing Grandma to Get Up and Dance, lots of great tune-playing and dancing, and let’s not forget the Fat Head…

– Winning first place fiddle and second place banjo at the Wilson County Fair

– And the next day buying a new fiddle!
– Sitting in with Rachael Hester and her band, the Tennesse Walkers, at Robert’s Western World in Nashville, and tasting lots of delicious non-alcoholic fermented drinks made by Andrew Kingery (make sure to visit him at High Garden.)

– Having a wicked good time despite being worked very hard at the MBOTMA (Minnesota Bluegrass and Old Time Music Association) Festival, and getting Tamar Korn to join us Roochies on stage for a song. Also the dance floor and bar that was constructed in the middle of the woods, far from electricity and running water. (Solar-powered Xmas lights are a must.)

– Best Clifftop Ever

And while I was, and still am, sad to miss Galax, MBOTMA did a very good job of keeping my mind on the fun. I taught a fiddle workshop and participated in a bluegrass fiddle showcase, an old time fiddle showcase, and an old time banjo showcase. I also got to see lots of great friends and make some new ones. And dance and play tunes and see some really great bands I hadn’t seen before, such as The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys, Evan Kinney And His Dixieland Squirrel Skinners, The Dumpy Jug Bumpers, and more…

Book Club Notes
The only book I’ve read recently was The Road, by Cormac McCarthy. It wasn’t nearly as horrifying as I was afraid it might be, but it definitely put me in a pretty bleak space. I would recommend this book as it’s beautifully written and gives you a lot to think about in an indirect way. It’s also pretty short and easy to get through fast.

That’s all I’ve got for now, folks. I hope you have a great end of summer. Here comes my favorite season of all, fall!